Jaclyn Vander Waal – Staff Writer
At 8:15 pm this past Saturday, Dordt University students Jonah Bader, AJ Funk, Eli Dykstra and Calvin Bader carried their small, brown couch from their first-floor apartment in Southview to the middle of the campus green.
They piled next to each other on the couch in the breezy 63-degree weather and waited for the clock to reach 8:30.
Scattered around them, most other people set up lawn chairs or blankets to lay on. One student brought a bean bag chair to sit in.
At 8:30, Jake Thorsteinson, a Dordt Student Activities leader, made a short announcement to remind those in the crowd of more than 75 to sit with people already on their COVID-19 contact tracing list. The Disney film Moana was then projected onto a large, inflatable screen.
Thorsteinson said COVID-19 limited the number of student activities events this year. The all-campus movie made the cut due to strong attendance in the last two years. Originally, the idea for an all-campus movie night came from residence hall wing events. Students seemed to enjoy watching movies with their wing, so Dordt Student Activities scaled it up and created a campus-wide event.
“This is a really great event to have even with social distancing because you can spread out pretty well,” said Carolyn Rayhons, a junior.
Hannah Adams, one of Rayhons’ roommates, attended the movie to give her mind a rest.
“I have been doing too much research for history papers, and I need a break,” she said. “Plus, with other events being taken away, I’m glad that they kept this one because this is always one of the most fun ones.”
Throughout the movie, students’ heads bobbed along with the music and bursts of laughter rolled throughout the crowd. Students giggled especially loudly when Maui, self-proclaimed hero of all, was pushed over when the ocean threw the Heart of Te Fiti at him.
Funk particularly enjoyed the musical aspect of the movie.
“If you don’t think this is a singalong, you are wrong,” he said with a chuckle.
A breeze created ripples on the screen during the entire movie, adding to the animation of the ocean scenes.
In the final battle of the movie, the wind caused the ropes holding the screen up to come undone, and the screen blew over. Students’ gasps were heard throughout the crowd. In its absence, the movie was projected for a few minutes onto the French Fries sculpture that stood behind the screen. Thorsteinson quickly rushed behind the screen and held the rope tight himself. Students applauded the act. Thorsteinson stayed to hold up the screen for the remaining minutes of the film.
“My thoughts went something like this: Well, I’m sure glad there’s only 15 minutes left of this movie and something along the lines of trying to remember my middle school outdoor-ed knot-tying classes,” Thorsteinson said.
Following the film, the chilly students quickly bundled up their blankets, folded up their lawn chairs, carried their couches and dispersed across campus to their dorms or apartments.